Norway involved in China-Tibet talks

Norwegian officials have in all secrecy been contributing economically to funding meetings between Chinese authorities in Beijing and representatives for Dalai Lama’s Tibetan government in exile.

The Norwegian involvement emerged last week in documents made available by WikiLeaks and reported by newspaper Aftenposten.

Dialogue between representatives of the Dalai Lama and Chinese authorities has been going on since 2002. The US State Department has been aware of Norway’s role in the dialogue, according to documents to which Aftenposten and Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet gained access via WikiLeaks. The documents include Tibet on the list of countries where Norway has played a role in peace talks in recent years.

Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre wouldn’t comment. Tibet is viewed as an autonomous region of China and been under Chinese control since Chinese forces invaded Tibet’s capital of Lhasa in 1950. Tibet’s spiritual leader, Dalai Lama, went into exile in India in 1959 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

The WikiLeaks documents reveal that the ageing Dalai Lama, now 75, told an American official that he thinks Chinese President Hu Jintao hates him personally, and hopes China will adopt a more moderate line regarding Tibet when Hu steps down in 2012.

China since has become angry with Norway, after the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, and lately has been cancelling meetings involving Norwegian government officials.

Views and News staff